There are two reasons why this paper dismisses the notion of homosexuality between Antonio and Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice. First throughout the play there is no evidence that Antonio and Bassanio have had a physical intimate relationship. The reason why Bassanio wants to go to Belmont “for a lady richly left” is to have this physical intimate relationship with Portia, thus dismissing the notion that Bassanio has homoerotic feelings for Antonio. And secondly the word love can multiplicity of meaning which if not understood properly can lead one to see Bassanio and Antonio’s friendship as homoerotic. For the purpose of this discussion, we will define the word love in terms of two Greek words, both of which means love, but in two different senses. The two that are relevant to this paper are phileo and eros. Love –phileo “means to have affection (sentiment, or feeling) for. A fondness based in the heart. What the Greeks meant by Phileo love is what we normally think when say "brotherly love" (E...
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...r eros leads us to betray our responsibilities and our relationships” and this is exactly what Bassanio does to Antonio, to be able to achieve an erotic relationship with Portia he almost puts his friends life at risk and at the same time he does not offer his wife the commitment she wants from him in their marriage. On the other hand this play also portrays that marriage comes with a responsibility, that when one gets married he or she needs to realign his or her priorities giving paramount importance to their partners. And finally moreover Shakespeare in this play placed a woman above the patriarchy. It is Portia who wields much of the power in the play, than does Bassanio or Antonio. Her wealth and stealth to force Bassanio to realign his commitment shows that it is not only men that are able to subjugate women, but women have the equal ability to do the same.
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